Sustainable Mobility - Health and Zero Emissions by Bike
A return to slow transport, to the use of bicycle, and in general to an urban mobility system that can reduce the environmental, social and economic impacts generated by private motor vehicles on the environment. The reduction of atmospheric pollution and the emission of greenhouse gases, noise pollution, congestion, degradation of urban areas and the waste of land caused by the construction of new roads and infrastructures.
Innovation got back on the oldest two wheels, back to the pedal-power, back to the bicycle.
Without changing the original vehicle, that is unchangeable, always the same since the very beginning, except for small adjustments (from the gearing, to the brakes, to the pedal assist system) . What now is going to change is the fruition.
Bicycle is not just a common means of transport, in Denmark as in China it is a national symbol. However, in recent years this vehicle has had two different destinies in the two countries: while in Copenhagen bicycle has long been and still is the core of urban transport policy, in Tianjin until just a few months ago there have been a dramatic increase in traffic on four wheels.
Fortunately today such a trend is changing. Today in Tianjin there are more than 10 companies involved in free flowing bike-sharing, a brand new trend through which we have seen bicycles return as a preferred means of transport. Among them OFO has been the first bike-sharing start-up to reach a $1 billion valuation. In Tianjin, bikes are back on the street. This is the best way in which technology can help to change mobility.
But bicycle is also a cult object for designers and amateurs around the world. The Dutch Design Studio Bleijh Industrial made a revolution into the way in which designers approach to the bicycle. Sandwichbike is a bicycle made of wood, sold in a box, to assemble, and consists of 50 pieces. Day after day, the bike is more and more the symbol of contemporary lifestyle and of a modern sustainability based urban development, which turns to our history and to our roots.
Copenhagen Wheel, the Smart Bike for Great Cities
In Copenhagen more than a third of the daily trips are made by bicycle, but the mayor, a staunch cyclist, wants to get 50%. Carlo Ratti, the project manager who invented the Copenhagen Wheel, has been working to apply advanced technologies to the world of two wheels. The vehicle represents a step forward in the integration of new technologies to bikes. This will improve even more the features that already decreed the success of bikes in collective mobility, along with some other innovations realized by means of new information. In short, the classic bicycle becomes the e-bike.
All the technical components needed for the vehicle are concentrated inside the wheel without any external power supply. In this way it was possible to realize a zero-assisted pedal-powered hybrid electric bicycle. The operation is simple: a particular device captures the energy dissipated while you are pedaling and makes it return when you need it to climb up. The principle of energy recycle is not new and is already a reality in some automotive hybrids on the market, but has never been applied to a locomotion medium such as a simple bike, whose operating principle has remained unchanged over the years.
Tianjin, OfO Sharing in the City
The booming bike-sharing industry has had a polarizing effect on Chinese bicycle manufacturers, with big companies going full steam to churn out millions of bikes every month, and smaller firms dying due to a lack of orders. In some of the biggest bike maker factories in Tianjin production lines are going full throttle. They started to hire more workers at the end of last year. These companies are among the suppliers for Ofo, one of the biggest bike-sharing services, whose two-wheels are commonly known as "the yellow bikes" among Chinese city dwellers. This year it has been registered a peak of production for shared bikes and according to a report from Beijing-based BigData Research, by the end of 2016, there were 18.86 million users of shared bicycles, and the number is expected to expand to 50 million by the end of this year.
The ingenious idea is to release the two wheels from the fixed racks and provide them with a rental technology system: download an application on your mobile phone, register and account, check it on the map that appears on the screen where the closest bike is and unlock the anti-theft by scanning a printed code behind the seat and go. One of the interesting things is that millions of young people are having the chance to try the bicycle, finding it the cheapest and fastest way to move, as their fathers and parents already knew. Therefore this is certainly a new knowledge tool. OfO and other bicycle sharing companies have the potential make our cities better and to bring more and more people closer to this means of transportation.
The return to the bicycle represents for Tianjin and throughout China an important step forward towards a sustainable mobility made of cycle lanes and public transport.
Sandwichbike, Natural Materials & Hi-Tech
We are used to bicycles made of metal, or composite materials such as carbon fiber, but today thanks to Sandwichbike, the bicycle will be made of wood. The wood used for the Sandwichbike’s frame is beech plywood, harvested in Germany. A sustainable design: a wooden frame entirely made of wood.
In 2006, the starting idea was to build a modular bicycle which could be able to make the world of two wheels even more accessible.
But the most notable difference relates to the distribution method. The Sandwichbike fits in a small, flat package, so it can be send by post. Everything you need is in the box including the tools, so you can start assembling right away. The thrill of building your own Sandwichbike is only matched by taking it for a spin. Whether you head downtown, cycle around the park or go cruising down the boulevard, you’ll feel the excitement of your own self-assembled Sandwichbike. Thanks to this amazing idea, Sandwichbike has been able to demonstrate that it is possible to invent a perfectly working bicycle with a new style: new materials, new manufacturing technologies and new distribution channels.
Giovanni Aurino, Bruno Discepolo, Alessandra Fasanaro
ADO Architecture Design Organisation
OFO 北京市海淀区北四环西路58号理想国际大厦11层, Carlo Ratti, Pedalfactory b.v. Federica Tuccillo, Francesca Tufano, Elvira Agnese